Friday, July 24, 2015

His Name Will Pass Spellcheck — I Promise

We're 99 percent sure we've got our next child's name figured out.

As discussed Wednesday, it won't be Morpheus — sorry if I made you believe otherwise, even sorrier if you didn't find it funny and sorry again to my mom who was hoping against hope for this awesome name.

So, what will the name be?

Well if you're looking for a reveal right now, sorry again. We're not telling anyone just yet, and here's an explanation why.

This happens. 
Neither Mrs. Blackwell nor I have ever been secretive types. I tend to share big news quickly and Mrs. Blackwell starts giddily distributing Christmas gifts in October because she can't wait.

So, this is about as big of a 180 as you'll ever see us take.

The fact is, our decision to withhold the name is not necessarily about us. To the extent that people are interested that you're having a kid, they're just as interested in what you'll name it.

First, they ask the gender and next, they ask the name.

When you tell someone you're having a boy or a girl they're happy for you, whether the baby's got a Y chromosome or not. And when you tell them the name of your child they're also happy for you — sometimes.

As I outlined yesterday, lots of people have lots of opinions on names. Some folks — opinionated blowhards like me mostly — believe that there should be parameters, if not codified rules, for naming a kid.

A Digression — A Couple of Arbitrary Rules for Naming Your Kid

- No naming your child after luxury cars or perfumes. Like sending your your kid to school wearing a top hat and monocle, this has the opposite of the intended effect.

- Rethink the apostrophe.

- Don't find a new spelling for an old proper noun. The 'U' in Jupiter is fine. No need to make it "Joopiter."

- Don't name your child after an impoverished African nation. Sierra? Fine. Leone? Also fine. Sierraleone? Not fine. Ditto for Ivorycoast. (And of course, people have used both those names.)

- Finally, in the immortal words of author Drew Magary, "Don't invent a name. Most inventions fail."

Alright, back on track. It's one thing to be an opinionated jerk person like me, but it's another matter entirely to be unable to suppress how you really feel about something.

Resist the temptation. It's not a person's name. 
If someone tells me they're naming their newborn Ransom or Subaru (again, yes, people did this) whatever goodwill and discipline I have won't trump my reflex to scream "Good lord, no!"

And what would Ransom or Subaru's parents think of me after this exchange.

The last time around, Mrs. Blackwell and I weren't shy about telling people the name and I ran into one situation where a woman couldn't hide her dismay at our choice. She looked at me like I was joking in fact.

Neither is this. 
In turn, I laughed. I really didn't care what her opinion was, nor do I now.

For her part, my sweet, loving wife might not be so forgiving.

Here, I'll defer to my wife who put it thusly: "If they don't like the name, it's not going to make me like the name less. It's going to make me like them less."

That right there folks, is some cold business.

Sweet as she is, Mrs. Blackwell does not play. And if you want to give her your thoughts on a baby name, you'd best be sporting a cool name yourself and God help you if your kid is named Happyness (spelling error included).

Above all, what I take from my research and discussions on names is that things get complicated and deeply emotional, very quickly.

So to answer that age old question "what's in a name?" My answer: more than I ever knew.

FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT
Here's some of the stranger names I ran across in researching names. Sources include NBC, the Social Security web site, Yahoo! News and the Associated Press.

Boys:
Jcelon, Hatch, Tuf, Xzaiden, Subaru Power, Kyndle, Vice

Girls:
Pemberley, Envie, Rarity, Snowy, Temprince, Lexus, Citron

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